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Friday, March 27, 2015

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Replicate the "True Detective" Look

Google + followers of Amateur Nikon might remember a photo I had uploaded some time ago. I had taken a series of photos for a friend of mine, and, since he is a fan of the 'True Detective' series, I thought to offer him a version inspired by that look.

The photo in question was this one:

Double Exposure is nothing new, but I think the series 'True Detective' has facilitated a comeback of sorts.

It's really a very simple procedure, but it can produce some pretty interesting images. So, I decided to show you the simple steps involved in making images like this. I will not replicate the exact same image as you see above, but I will use the same portrait. Needless to say, this is only a guide. Come up with your own ideas, and make your own images according to your individual needs. After all, this tutorial is a starting point for learning to work with:
a) layers and blending mode
b) layers and masks
c) brushes and textures

Step 1
Create a new image (since we're replicating a TV series, you might as well choose widescreen dimensions - e.g. 1280x720 pixels).

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sigma AF 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Review

The Sigma AF 20mm f/1.8 is a full-frame compatible wide-angle lens (we're in ultra wide-angle territory, in fact), that on paper appears as a very attractive solution when you're on a budget. 20mm and f/1.8? Sounds great, right? Is there a catch? Well...Read on.

+ good value. 20mm, f/1.8, for not much money
+ mechanical quality. Sturdy, it inspires confidence.
+ aperture ring (=can be used with manual film cameras, too)

- poor image quality wide-open (but read more on 'Final Verdict')
- AF/MF clutch is nice, but not as nice as instant override
- corners never get great, even stopped-down

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Display Your Photos: Why It Is Important

The motivation behind writing this article was a happy fluke. You can call it an aha moment, one of those happy accidents that reveal an insight you had not anticipated. Well, in our case today, that happy moment was... Chromecast. In case you did not know that, it now allows you to display your own photos in the background. I did that, selecting some of my landscapes pics.

And wow, what a revelation that was!

My clients rarely need prints, and even more rarely large prints. As a result, the maximum size I usually view my photos is limited by the size of my monitor - 21". I have printed a couple of large, 60x40" canvases for personal use, but generally speaking, it is extremely rare that I see my photos at any size larger than the monitor.

Well, let me tell you, it was a revelation to watch my own photos on a 46" TV screen. I strongly suggest that you do it (if you don't want to get Chromecast - although, it has my vote, it totally rocks - just use a USB stick, if your TV has a port).